Zhiping Zheng, PhD

Degrees and Appointments

  • B.S. 1987, Peking University, China
  • M.S. 1990, Peking University, China
  • Ph.D. 1995, UCLA
  • Postdoctoral Associate 1995-1997, Harvard University

Fields of Study: Inorganic Chemistry

Awards and Honors:

  • Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016
  • Five-Star Faculty Finalist, Honors College, The University of Arizona, 2014
  • Invited Professorship, Rennes 1 University, Rennes, France, 2008
  • Excellence in Teaching, The Honors College, The University of Arizona, 2007
  • International Junior Award, European Rare Earth and Actinide Society, 2003
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award, 2003
  • China Bridge International Fellowship, 1998-2001
  • Research Corporation Research Innovation Award, 1998-2002


Our research, in the general areas of synthetic and structural inorganic chemistry, is directed toward developing new paradigms of coordination chemistry and creating metal-containing functional materials.  We are particularly interested in the cluster chemistry of both transition and rare earth elements.  Their unique structural features, interesting properties, and potentially significant applications constitute the multifold impetus for our efforts.  We have been pursuing two distinctly different yet intellectually intertwined objectives – exploratory synthesis of lanthanide hydroxide clusters (figure below) and synthetic and materials applications of structurally well-defined transition metal clusters. 

Zheng motifs

A modular set of lanthanide hydroxide clusters (cyan Ln, red O, grey C, green Cl)

“Sodalite-like rare-earth carbonates: a study of structural transformation and diluted magnetism” Wang, Y.; Han, T.;, Ding, Y.; Zheng, Z,; Zheng, Y. Dalton Trans.201645, 1103-1110.

“Uniaxial magnetic anisotropy of square-planar chromium(II) complexes revealed by magnetic and HF-EPR studies” Deng, Y.; Han, T.; Wang, Z.; Ouyang, Z.; Yin, B.; Zheng, Z,; Krzystek, J.; Zheng, Y. Chem. Commun. 201551, 17688-17691.

“Crystal facets make profound difference in polyoxometalate-containing metal-organic frameworks as catalyst for biodiesel production” ​Liu, Y.; Liu, S,; He, D.; Li, N.; Ji, Y.; Zheng, Z.; Luo, F.; Liu, S.; Shi, Z.; Hu, C. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2015, 137, 12697-12703. 

“Synthesis of high-quality lanthanide oxybromides nanocrystals with single-source precursor for promising applications in cancer cells imaging” Dong, Y.; Lei, B.; Chen, B.; Wu, X.; Liu, Z.; Li, N.; Ge, J.; Xue, Y.; Du, Y.; Zheng, Z.; Zhang, H. Appl. Mater. Today20151, 20-26.

“Polymeric perturbation to the magnetic relaxations of the C2v-symmetric [Er(Cp)2(OBu)2]− anion” Han, T.; Ding, Y.; Leng, J.; Zheng, Z.; Zheng, Y. Inorg. Chem. 201554, 4588–4590. 

“Beauty, symmetry, and magnetocaloric effects – Four-shell Keplerates with 104 lanthanide atoms” Peng, J.; Kong, X.; Ren, Y.; Long, L.; Huang, R.; Zheng, Z.; Zheng, L. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014136, 17938-17941.

“High proton conduction at above 100 °C mediated by hydrogen bonding in a lanthanide metal-organic framework” Tang, Q.; Liu, Y.; Liu, S.; He, D.; Miao, J.; Wang, X.; Yang, G.; Shi, Z.; Zheng, Z. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014136, 12444-12449.

“Molecule-based magnetic coolers” Zheng, Y.; Zhou, G.; Zheng, Z.; Winpenny, R. Chem. Soc. Rev. 201443, 1462-1475.

Color-tuning and white light-emission via in situ doping of luminescent lanthanide metal–organic frameworks” Tang, Q.; Liu, S.-X.; Zheng, Z. Inorg. Chem. 201453, 289-293.

“Facile synthesis of a nanocrystalline metal-organic framework impregnated with a phosphovanadomolybdate and its remarkable catalytic performance in ultra-deep oxidative desulfurization” Liu, Y.; Liang, D.; Liu, S.; Li, S.; Tang, Q.; Wang, X.; Miao, J.; Liu, S.; Shi, Z.; Zheng, Z. ChemCatChem 2013, 5, 3086-3091.

“Cation-sensing by a luminescent metal–organic framework with multiple Lewis basic sites” Tang, Q.; Liu, S.; Liu, Y.; Miao, J.; Shi, Z.; Li, S.; Zheng, Z. Inorg. Chem. 201352, 2799-2801.

“High–nuclearity 3d–4f clusters as enhanced magnetic coolers and molecular magnets” Peng, J.-B.; Zhang, Q.-C.; Kong, X.; Zheng, Y.; Ren, Y.; Long, L.; Huang, R.; Zheng, L.; Zheng, Z. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012134, 3314-3317.